Alaska Crossings was founded in 2001 and ran 3 programs at 28 days in length in that first operating season. The programs founding director, Stephen Prysunka, and the executive director of AICS, Mark Walker, worked together to develop the program model and find a way to fund it.
As the program grew so did our tripping area. We started out operating on the Stikine River, Mount Edziza in British Columbia, and surrounding islands near Wrangell. We now have groups that have gone out to Frederick Sound and Kuiu Island, we have groups that have circumnavigated Etolin Island, groups that have gone to explore the El Capitan Caves on Prince of Whale Island and to tour the Tyee Hydro Power Plant in the Bradfield Canal. As we continue to foster strength and skill in our guides to safely navigate the region we work to expand our tripping area.
Through out the years the program has grown leaps and bounds. 2011 was one of our largest operating seasons employing nearly 40 field guides. As we gear up for each season we work towards a sustainable program model, we are beginning to incorporate open enrollment programs as well as our traditional cohort model programs. We are constantly striving to ensure our services are accessible to youth in need for a long time coming.
At Alaska Crossings we have constantly been reaching out to practitioners in the field to ensure best practices for our operating departments and clinical departments. We have made leaps and bounds in developing clinical processes that have demonstrated effective work with the population we serve. We have moved towards a model utilizing clinicians in the field at multiple transitions that are clinically significant.
The Endeavor was built through out the early 2000's and was launched in October of 2003. The Endeavor is the life blood of the programs in the field. It transports groups from in between different expeditions, brings participants in and out of the field when needed, and brings resupplies to the groups with food and gear through out the duration of their program.
We also employ several other vessels and transport companies in Wrangell but the Endeavor is dear to our hearts as is it's trusty captain, Jim Bailey.
Alaska Crossings is a program of Alaska Island Community Services (AICS), a not for profit, federally qualified health center. AICS provides a variety of health services to communities throughout southeastern Alaska. Our ongoing innovation in finding new and improved ways to meet the needs of our clients. Our pledge of providing outstanding and effective health care services so that our clients can be confident in our program’s effectiveness.